The scarcer a resource is, the more valuable it becomes. It works this way with oil and diamonds and the minerals that help to make up your smartphone. And it works this way with your time. The further we get into the spring semester the scarcer time seems to be. Exams (and commencement!) are only a few weeks away. Your schedule is likely full of papers and events and planning and bar exam applications and outlines and study groups and…..well, you get the idea. I’ve been finding the same thing in my world as both my personal and professional responsibilities seem to be more than I am able to squeeze into my waking hours. But we trudge on, we compromise, and eventually we get through it.
The compromising is the tough part. Every decision to spend your time on one thing means not spending it on something else. Your priorities become clear. When faced with the decision of spending my Saturday night seeing some favorite musicians perform or meal prepping with my Instant Pot, I chose the concert. But that left me without lunches for the week. Yet another decision. Do I buy lunch out, or buy something pre-packaged? I’m busy, but I’m not rich, so I hit the frozen food aisle at my local grocery store and bought an assortment of reduced-calorie frozen meals to eat for lunch this week. And while I was at it, I grabbed a frozen veggie lasagna for Sunday dinner. Not the most delicious food ever. But also not bad, and not outside my budget. And I didn’t have to give up the Saturday night concert. I chose to spend my time on fun rather than food, but also didn’t give up too much of my money in the process. Quality of food is less important to me than quality of life (which for me generally means live music).
Every decision has a trade-off. But it’s important not to let money be the thing you sacrifice. You can do or have anything you want. But you likely can’t do or have everything you want. What’s most important to you? What are you willing to give up in order to have it? Can you do that without blowing your budget?